Navigation Links
Alzheimer cell death in Zebrafish: Demise of neurons observed live for the first time
Date:4/14/2009

Extensive death of nerve cells leads to severe dementia in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Until now, it has only been possible to investigate the neuronal devastation in post mortem animal models, and by using complicated methods. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) Muenchen, headed by Professor Christian Haass, have now successfully observed this demise of nerve cells by life imaging. The scientists inserted a gene into zebrafish that leads to a severe form of Alzheimer's in humans. The translucent larvae thereupon developed characteristic symptoms such as the death of neurons the first directly observable instance in a living organism. "Our discovery now allows us to perform a targeted search for drugs that can stop the extensive cell death, and thereby stop dementia in patients," says Haass. "The first findings have already shown that we can in principle use drugs to block at least some of the disease-related processes in the zebrafish."

Around one million people in Germany suffer from Alzheimer's disease. There are an estimated 12 to 18 million patients around the world. This trend is even rising, not least due to the longer life expectancy of people in western society. The search for causal therapies is sorely needed, since neuronal cell death in the brains of Alzheimer's patients can still not be defeated. Moreover, the death of neurons can only be truly confirmed after the death of the patient. Even in animal models, the destruction of nerve cells has only been observable to a very limited extent and with great difficulty.

Professor Christian Haass and his two colleagues Dr. Bettina Schmidt and Dominik Paquet of the Deutsche Zentrum fr Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease) at LMU Muenchen and the cluster of excellence Center for Integrated Protein Science (CIPSM) have now inserted a gene responsible for a severe form of Alzheimer's in people into zebrafish, with great success. The animals showed the characteristic symptoms, such as deposits in nerve cells and the selective loss of neurons.

They were even able to observe this while it was happening. "The translucent larvae of the zebrafish can be studied under a laser microscope over an extended period of time," reports Haass. "If you add a color dye to the water to specifically stain dying cells, you can even directly watch the neurons as they die. That way, it should also be possible to watch and test directly whether potential drugs actually do have a protective action. First experiments using newly developed drugs have already confirmed this: One drug did have an effect in the living fish and was able to block the disease-related processes in the zebrafish at least to some extent."

The work has already been praised by those in the field: On March 16, Dominik Paquet, PhD student at Haass' lab and first author of the study, was honored with the Verum Award 2009 and the Leda Hanin Award at the International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Prague. Both distinctions are awarded to outstanding young researchers and are each coming with 2000 euros. (CIPSM/suwe and SFB 596)


'/>"/>

Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
0049-089-218-02706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tiny but toxic: MBL researchers discover a mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimers disease
2. Alzheimers disease therapeutic prevents long-term damage from TBI in pre-clinical studies
3. A revolutionary new model for Alzheimers disease
4. New target for medicine to combat Alzheimers: VIB scientists confirm proteins key role
5. TGen and ASU researchers find drug that could reduce risk of Alzheimers
6. New study provides further evidence that apple juice can delay onset of Alzheimers disease
7. Mayo: Variants in gene on X chromosome associated with increased susceptibility to Alzheimers
8. A protein that protects against Alzheimers?
9. Scientists make strides toward defining genetic signature of Alzheimers disease
10. Impaired energy metabolism linked with initiation of plaques in Alzheimers brain
11. Epilepsy drug shows potential for Alzheimers treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... and PUNE, India , January 12, 2017 ... Forecasts, 2015 - 2022," projects that the global biometric technology market is expected to ... 2016 to 2022. Continue Reading ... ...      ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers of a ... intended to treat acute pancreatitis. ... is typically a mild disorder, but can be ... organ failure and sepsis, where extended hospital stays, ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... LAS VEGAS , Jan. 4, 2017  For the thousands of ... , a global leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and ... pressure monitors. On display in A&D Medical,s special CES ... monitors represent the ongoing expansion of the company,s WellnessConnected product ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter type of company ... is accounted to two main factors. The first is the amazing customer service ... supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was a tremendous sales year ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) ... today that it will host a live webcast of its Annual ... (ET). The webcast can be accessed from the ... replay through Tuesday, January 31, 2017. ... About BD BD is a global ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017   Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , today announced a ... Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem Technologies (Talem) as ... technology to assist people living with Duchenne. PPMD ... – an embedded computer, software, a force sensor and ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... MYOLYN, which creates medical technology for people ... to the FDA, requesting clearance of the MyoCycle Home and the MyoCycle Pro ... , The submission marks a major milestone for the technology startup. MYOLYN spun ...
Breaking Biology Technology: